In an autobiographical article released on Wednesday, former University of Missouri football player Michael Sam writes that he does not believe that his homosexuality kept him off an NFL roster.
In the MMQB story Sam says that he has the skills to make it in the NFL. First cut by the St. Louis Rams, Sam said in his own defense that in four preseason games he made 11 tackles and three sacks.
The twenty-five-year-old Texas native writes that he understands that the reason the Rams cut him was a business decision based on who they felt were the best players for the team. He expressed gratitude to the Rams for giving him an opportunity to show them that he could play at the NFL level.
Sam’s admission contradicts statements that he made in December when he said that his coming out as a gay man was the reason that he is not in the NFL. “I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year … so I don’t think it had to do with talent,” he told TMZ.
Sam recounted in the MMQB piece that the Dallas Cowboys gave him a chance after the Rams dropped him, but he entered their camp late, creating challenges for him to master the team’s playbook. He wrote about the Cowboys: “I found a welcoming locker room full of guys who respected me and treated me as part of the team.”
Not making the cut for the Cowboys sent Sam back to the drawing board and the weight room where he prepares for the next opportunity. Sam noted that the acronym NFL stands for something other than the National Football League. It also stands for “Not for Long,” he wrote.
Articulate and gifted with Hollywood good looks, Sam says he has been offered other jobs including TV and sports broadcasting opportunities. However, Sam does not appear ready to hang up his spikes: “I’ll give up the game when my legs are both broken. I’m a football player and I will keep fighting for my dream to play in the NFL.”